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Gearbox For Halo 4? Not So Fast

UPDATE: The official @HaloWaypoint twitter appear to have confirmed Gearbox are “not working on a Halo title for Microsoft” – Guess that’s that.

halowaypoint

If one thing a large swathe of the Internet loves is a juicy rumor then another is Halo. A combination of the two unsurprisingly sees the tubes working overtime amongst renewed speculation that Gearbox Software are working on an as yet un-announced iteration of the Microsoft franchise.

The eagle eyed amongst you will recall that we’ve been here before in 2008 when an open invitation to tender for a senior role on a “secret project” was posted by Gearbox head, Randy Pitchford.

I’ve started a new project. It’s big. It’s, like, look-at-our-line-up-and-imagine-something-even-bigger kind of big. I’m Directing it myself. I can’t mention it publicly yet. When you find out what this is, you’ll likely agree that I can’t oversell this one.

Gearbox is on fire right now and it’s only looking better down the road. This is an extremely rare chance to join up in a super senior role with a lot of authority and responsibility. Even if you’re only curious, just introduce yourself to me by e-mailing dreamgig@gearboxsoftware.com Yeah, it’s a campy address, but when you hear more about the project you’ll probably agree.

Gearbox certainly has form having handled the PC port of Halo: CE and a pedigree in first person shooters. Following only a short while after in the wake of Bungie’s split from Microsoft the dots certainly joined up. Fast forward to today and Eurogamer’s interview with Pitchford in which he refused to deny a Halo project before the attending PR “locked it down” seemingly seals the deal.

Asked outright, he replied: “Well, I’ll tell you, there’s a couple of games that Gearbox has announced. We’ve announced borderlands, and we’ve announced Aliens Colonial Marines with SEGA and Fox, and it’s no secret that we have some other things in development.”

Is one of those Halo? “Haha! We’re not going to talk about anything…” At which point a PR man practically leaped from his seat to end the interview, mucking in with his own, “We can’t talk about that.”

Or does it? Despite failing to convince two ostensibly much better connected game journalists in a brief conversation on Twitter, I have my doubts. The Gearbox theory certainly worked for me but that was before Halo: Reach was announced and the studio was outed as the developer behind the on-hold Duke Nukem prequel, Duke Begins a couple of weeks ago.

Under the 2007 Agreement, any modification to the development schedule for the Duke Begins game, following Final Concept Approval (as defined in the 2007 Agreement), is permitted without Apogee’s consent provided that both 2K Games and Gearbox (as defined in the 2007 Agreement) consent to the change.

With Duke Nukem Forever having an almost legendary status, the franchise would certainly fit Pitchford’s initial public excitement and broadly seems to fit with the timescales involved.

Digging a little deeper other mitigating evidence presents itself. The Microsoft Halo team, recently branded as 343 industries and headed up by Bungie alumni Frank O’Connor boasts a wealth of top talent including the likes of Ryan Payton, Nathan Walpole (again ex-Bungie) and Corrine Yu, funnily enough ex-Gearbox. Whilst the possibility that 343 was set up to co-develop Halo projects with external studios can’t be discounted, that would more likely manifest in Microsoft seconding staff to Gearbox (as they typically do for their many “second party” projects like Gears) not the other way round. Moreover, why would they looking to hire a multi-player design lead internally if development was taking hold outside of Redmond?

The truth of the matter is that nobody outside of those concerned really knows and we’re unlikely to find out for quite some time. It would be perfectly feasible still for Gearbox to have been involved with Nukem and Halo projects simultaneously, just be working on a PC port for Halo 3 or for the 343 Industries title to be a completely separate game altogether.

In the meantime however, I’ve set up a Hubdub prediction market for fun so please feel free to play along or let us know what you think!

Is one of Gearbox Software’s “secret” projects a Halo game or something else?

4 comments
Czartim
Czartim

I was burnt out on Halo after CE.

deftangel
deftangel

UPDATE: According to the official @HaloWaypoint twitter , Gearbox is definitely not working on a Halo game, presumably of any kind. Guess that's that. Post has been updated.

Phaethon
Phaethon

I've enjoyed the series a lot and look forward to any quality title it can produce. I admit I'm far more interested in Halo Reach than ODST, just hoping it's not a stepping stone to Halo 4.

Nine2Five
Nine2Five

Dont know if i want halo 4 tbh